Dear ‘Slut’ Shamers- Get Over It

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Calling someone a ‘slut’ is the most unoriginal, generic insult that you can throw at someone. It requires no thought or contemplation, yet most people who are called a ‘slut’ are offended by it. However, it is incredibly hard to come up with one universal definition of a ‘slut’. Some would say a ‘slut’ is a woman who sleeps with a lot of people, but some would call someone a ‘slut’ because that person had refused to have sex with them. So why is it so difficult to come up with a definition of a ‘slut’? Because ‘sluts’ don’t exist.

breakfast club

It all stems back to the historical roots of how women were supposed to be, because back then women were properties of their father’s, their only purpose to the marry a man and produce a male heir who would inherit that man’s fortune. Women were required to be virtuous, saving themselves for their one true love. If a woman slept around, she was a harlot. Unworthy of respect, there would be little chance of marrying due to their reputation. Women were also required to be obedient to men, unquestioning of their husband’s/father’s demands, their only purpose to serve. If a woman was outspoken, or rather just had an opinion, she was shrewish. To shame her, she would be forced to walk through the street wearing a Scold’s Bridle, reminding everyone and herself that it was unappealing and shameful to question men. This was obviously many hundreds of years ago, nothing like progressive societies such as our own, so why is such an outdated concept still so ‘relevant’ today?

scold's bridle

 

Surely it is time to let go of these outdated and simply barbaric views of women. Even back then, that is not how women actually were. We have not evolved over time from being ‘obedient’ to men, to becoming more opinionated and assertive as the years go by. Their personalities had to be hidden back then. Yet still, women are shamed for things that most men can do with ease. Most of us are aware that there are barely any differences between men and women, only social constructs, making it easier to label and shame women. So why is the label ‘slut’ only really used towards women?

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 07: Protestors prepare to march in a Slutwalk demonstration on September 7, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Slutwalk, which was started in Toronto in 2011, is a march held to educate people about rape and sexual assault and change a past culture of victim blaming. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Youtuber and creator Hannah Witton made a very stimulating video of the subject on slut-shaming and the different perceptions of what a ‘slut’ actually is, which was my inspiration for this article. She regularly produces videos where she talks about sex in a very open, positive and refreshing way, breaking the social barriers that surround the subject. She has a book coming out this year called ‘Doing It’, which revolves around sex and sexual health. Go Hannah!

hannah witton

I’m aware that there are more pressing issues in the world, and that being called a ‘slut’ is very mild in comparison to what some people have to endure. But it’s a start, and eliminating one type of ignorance can only help us move towards a more accepting society, where people aren’t judged or shamed for their sexualities. When you put it that way, it sounds so petty. Because it is! Why should you care how many people someone has sex with, or even with who? And if you do, maybe you should find a hobby, because you obviously have too much time on your hands.

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